Welcome to November, the month we begin by remembering those saints we have known and loved. Recognition of All Saint's Day (Thursday, November 1) is one of many beautiful traditions we can experience as we close out this church calendar year. We end this month giving thanks. With the world a-swirl around us, it is good to seek out and find places that reveal the faith, hope, and love we need to live fully. Many blessings to you this November.

Terri Bartish, Sage District Administrative Assistant (

In this month's newsletter:

Celebrating Sage
A Word from your Lay Leader
Sawtooth Camp Director Job Announcement
Ashton Community Celebrates New Roof
Important Reminder for Clergy and Those Serving
Links and Resources

Rev. Karen Hernandez

Celebrating Sage

I have almost no sense of direction. By the time I am able to give someone directions, they are precise and accurate because I have to pay such close attention to get myself anyplace without GPS.  (Truly, GPS was invented for people like me.)

I moved to Idaho in 2008 after having lived twenty-five miles from New York City for the previous six years. I remember asking for directions about a month after arriving in Idaho. I was told something like, “Well, you head out of town, then take a left.  When you can’t go any further, take a right.” I was absolutely baffled, and I asked, “Take a left on what road?” The Idaho native correctly answered, “Any of them.  It doesn’t matter.” I was very concerned as I set off driving, but he was exactly right!  To my amazement, I got to the very place I intended to go!

The first few times I visited Sawtooth were similar. The hand-drawn maps and the grace of God got me there, but to just wander off down a trail was pretty frightening to me—and those were the trails right on camp property!  I was always worried about whether I was on the right path to get me to from the lodge to the chapel or wherever I was headed. It’s taken me years and many Sawtooth visits to calm down and trust that I’ll get where I’m going, even if I don’t take the most direct route. 

This is the kind of experience I’m anticipating for the CrossOver Year to Life, except for one key difference: there will be many of us on the road at the same time. Even though we’re all invited to start at the same place (which is Brian McLaren’s book We Make the Road by Walking), there are many directions in which it may lead us. Some will choose an online path of connecting with disciples across the Greater Northwest Area, while others will be part of groups within their local congregations or communities. Many groups will likely journey with friends and acquaintances, but I hope that there will also be crossover conversations among different congregations, districts and annual conferences. The various roads we walk will surely diverge from one another, wind around in all kinds of ways, and hopefully intersect many times as we make the road by walking. 

After leading a handful of charge conference clusters so far, I’m noticing a common misunderstanding that I’d like to address. While the CrossOver Year to Life is very intentionally scheduled because of the upcoming special General Conference in 2019, the CrossOver Year is definitely not about human sexuality. My hope is that there are honest and healthy conversations happening in every congregation about the upcoming General Conference.  It is important to be informed and to talk about it. 

But the CrossOver Year is about seeking abundant life as we journey through scripture and McLaren’s thoughts and questions about it. It’s a year when we’ll find out what happens when faithful Methodists (and all who they invite to join in) across the Greater Northwest Area all seek to build and deepen relationships with one another and their communities. If we’re seeking to be relevant, then I fully expect that human sexuality, politics, and hot button issues of all kinds may enter the conversation—as well they should when we seek to apply scripture to our lives. 

By the way, my GPS and I have taken a lot of roads lately! One to note: “Small Places, Big Ideas” hosted by Pocatello UMC on Oct. 6 was excellent! My thanks to Rev. Michael Scarlett (host), Rev. Dr. Leroy Barber (coordinator), and Cheryl Miller (fantastic guest speaker) for providing an opportunity for small churches to learn how to make big differences that really do change the world! 

I am blessed to be on the road with you.

Peace of Christ,

CrossOver Year to Life
How are you accepting the Bishop’s invitation into the crossover year? 
Do you have a copy of Brian McClaren’s We Make the Road by Walking yet?
Are you ready to follow the reading calendar?
Have you visited the crossover webpage to check out the blog and other resources?
Have you joined our district Facebook group for online conversations?
What other ideas do you have about experiencing the CrossOver year, connecting to others across the area, or inviting neighbors to join you?  Share these ideas on the district Facebook page! 

Where Is the District Superintendent in November?

Nov. 3-4          Magic Valley charge conference clusters
Nov. 9-10        Hispanic Council and Immigration Task Force
Nov. 11-13      Northeast Oregon charge conference clusters
Nov. 15            Ministry Leadership Team
Nov. 17            Eastern Idaho charge conference cluster


Carla Anderson

A Word from your Lay Leader

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for me. I love the smell of the turkey baking in my mom’s oven, making sweet potatoes for my dad and most of all the time of gathering with family and friends.  While some things have changed over the years, one thing that has remained constant is the precious memories made while sitting around the table giving thanks for our time together. 

This year I am particularly grateful for the love of family.  My youngest brother has stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  I stopped by his home the other day because I knew that he had been to the doctor and had some news about the progression.  He said “Sis I’ve got good news!”  My mind raced and I started to get excited.  Maybe our prayers had been answered. He then said “The doctor says I have six good months.” My jaw dropped, I found myself speechless and so near breaking out in tears. On my way home I cried out in prayer. 

As I listened to God speak to me, I realized that most people are not looking for miracles they are looking for hope. You only get that from people who have struggles and make the choice to keep going. That’s exactly what Ray is doing. He’s not hoping for a cure. He’s focused on the six GOOD months he has to continue helping those in need at his job, and creating lasting memories with his family, especially his six grandchildren. 

I Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 

Wishing everyone a blessed Thanksgiving, 
Carla Anderson (
Sage District Lay Leader


Sawtooth Camp Director Job Announcement

Oregon-Idaho Camp and Retreat Ministries is hiring a director for Sawtooth Camp. Sawtooth Camp is a beautiful, secluded 120-acre site high in a mountain valley approximately an hour above Fairfield, Idaho. The Sawtooth National Forest surrounds the camp on three sides and the South Fork of the Boise River runs through the east side of the camp. Sawtooth Camp has positively influenced lives since 1948 and is a very special place to many people. Due to the remote location, the camp season is limited to the months of June – October.

The director is responsible for carrying out the mission of creating quality environments of Christian hospitality and learning at Sawtooth Camp. The primary responsibility is to be a steward of the camp site. Duties include managing or overseeing staff, to manage lodging and food service, property and facilities maintenance, hiring and oversight of staff, supporting conference programming, booking hospitality groups, administering finances, and public relations. The camp director is expected to live on-site during the camp season and perform some administrative and marketing duties during the off-season. Housing during the season is provided at the camp site.

You can find the job description here.Please submit your resume electronically to

Rev. Desi Larson

Ashton Community Celebrates New Roof

Ashton Community United Methodist Church, like many of a certain age and architectural style, found itself needing to replace it's leaky flat roof.  But fundraising took on a profound level of support as the entire community, including other faith communities, rose up to support the effort.

In appreciation, the Ashton UMC congregation threw a party. They hosted a "Loaves and Fishes" meal for the community, not as a fundraiser but as a thank you.

Here is a link to the news release giving more details on the project and October 18 celebration. Pictured at left is Pastor Desi Larson - hanging out in the rafters during the now-complete roofing project (which also grew to include a new bell and bell tower!). It will be nice to anticipate a raindrop-free worship experience in Ashton Community United Methodist Church this winter!

Important Reminder for Clergy and Those Serving

All pastors serving a church (lay and ordained), retired clergy, those on honorable location, those clergy serving in extension ministries - it's a long list! - are required to meet the conference's sexual ethics standards. 

In a nutshell, the requirements are to fill out an Annual Disclosure Form each year; complete the online Sexual Ethics Test each year; and once in each quadrennium (we're in a new one now) attend a Healthy Boundaries Workshop. There is a great summary of these important responsibilities, and links, on the conference website:  

The deadline for completion of the two annual requirements (the Annual Disclosure Form and the online Sexual Ethics Test) is November 15.  If you missed the October Healthy Boundaries Workshop in Boise, please plan to attend either the December workshop in Eugene, or one of the spring, 2019, workshops which will be offered in Eastern Idaho and Northeast Oregon.  We will publicize the dates as soon as we have them.

If you have any questions, please contact  Janet Farrell, Board of Ministries Administrative Assistant ( Terri ( in the district office, or Karen Hernandez, District Superintendent for Sage District (

Links and Resources

  • Across the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area, people are experiencing Ordinary Revival. This video gives you a snapshot into what is happening as these gatherings seek to inspire new connections between faithful people and the communities they live in. These revivals remind us that God is indeed at work outside the church and that there is strength in diverse communities that keep hearts open to cries for justice. A revival will be coming to Boise - watch for an announcement!
  • It's Charge Conference season!  If you have submitted your forms - thank you! If not, please access them through your church's FormVite. You can contact Terri at the district office (, or visit the Sage District charge conferences page on the conference website to find out more. 
  •  And this, from the Cascadia District Newsletter:
    Book cover

    Advanced Lay Servant Class offered in Salem, Nov. 17
    Life Together in the United Methodist Connection is an Advanced Lay Servant Ministries Course for those seeking to become or renew as Certified Lay Servants and is required for those seeking to become Certified Lay Speakers.  It also informs those who want to gain a basic understanding about the polity of the United Methodist Church in a class setting.  Completion of the Basic Lay Servant Ministries course is a prerequisite.
    The class will be offered on Saturday, November 17th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Morningside UMC in Salem. 
    Cost is $10 plus book, "The Method of Our Mission: United Methodist Policy & Organization" by Laceye C. Warner.  Purchase the book and read in advance of the class.   You can order at through Cokesbury or Amazon.

    Register by contacting Emilie Kroen at or 503-312-4138. 


Sage District Office of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference
1505 SW 18th Ave, Portland OR 97201(503) 802-9225 ~